MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on missing "new message" chimes in Mail, installing iPhoto from another computer, Time Machine drives not being recognized despite being formatted properly, and how to set a system to boot to the 64-bit kernel by default.
Question: New message chimes in Mail
MacFixIt reader "Robert" asks:
I have an iMac that is 2 years old. When I purchased it I was running Leopard 10.5.8 I have since upgraded to Snow Leopard 10.6.4 I am using Mac Mail ver Version 4.3 (1081) I have set up my Gmail account as IMAP. While I like the simplicity and ease of mail and the fact that it integrates real well with other mac apps like Ical and address book, I keep having the same issue. Every time I receive new mail, no new mail sound is played despite the fact that this option is checked.
I have spoken to several Apple technical advisers on the subject who had me do everything from remove mail app. and reinstall to removing the mail.plist and starting from scratch. and still the same issue. I realize that this must be an intermittent issue as not everyone using mail has this problem. At least this is what I am finding when I do a search on the Internet. Perhaps this is why Apple is not fixing the problem quickly. Have you come across a fix for this issue? Any suggestions? I used to use Entourage, the one reason is that the mail sounds in Entourage worked. Any help you can give would be appreciated.
This is a long-standing issue that many people have had with Mail, and unfortunately the intermittent nature of it makes it exceptionally difficult to troubleshoot. Some people have had a little success with rebuilding and clearing out their mailboxes (archiving old e-mails), and removing the Mail preferences file, but this has not always stopped the issue.
One workaround I have done is to disable the notification sound, and set up a rule to play a sound whenever mail is received. This seems to work when the built-in notifier does not.
Question: installing iPhoto '08 from another computer
MacFixIt reader "Clare" asks:
I have a Mac with OS X 10.4.11. I had iPhoto 6.06. I tried to install iPhoto 8 from my son's computer. I got a message that I didn't have permission and it couldn't be installed. Now, I can't open my iPhoto and the icon is changed. Under "file info" it shows that it's in applications folder. I tried going through the installation process from the original discs, but nothing changed. how can I either get back my original 6.06 version or install the 8 version?
Try removing the application from your system by dragging it to the trash, and then reinstalling it from the iLife '08 installation DVD. While some applications can be installed by dragging them to your Applications folder, others like iPhoto require numerous other resources to be updated and configured properly, so you will need to use the installer.
Question: Time Machine drive not being recognized
MacFixIt reader "Ron" asks:
I'm having trouble backing up with Time machine. I reformatted a 1TB, "HP simple save" drive to Mac OS extended, journaled. The drive mounts and is recognized by Time Machine. It starts and then quits with an error message that this might be temporary try again later or use Disk utility to verify the Disk. I have done so and it all checks out OK.
I had originally it set to GUID but reformatted it again anyway. Still getting the error message.
Try connecting the drive to a different USB port. Sometimes drives may be temperamental when using one port versus another, especially since on some machines various internal devices (iSight, or IR port) may be on the same USB bus.
Question: Booting to 64-bit by default
MacFixIt reader "Oak" asks:
I have a black MacBook, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.2 GHz, OS 10.6.4. Re your 8/16/10 64-bit kernel article, in order for me to boot into the 64-bit mode, must I hold down the 6 and 4 keys every time I start up?
There are ways to set 64-bit mode as the default so you do not have to hold the 6 and 4 keys when booting. Here is one utility that should allow you to switch the default kernel.
If you would like to change the default kernel manually, open the file /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist in a text editor (you may need to use a text editor that supports authentication, such as TextWrangler) and locate the "Kernel Flags" key. Under this key enter "arch=x86_64" in the empty "Strings" tag, save the file and then reboot your system.
If you have one of the new 2010 Mac Pro systems or an XServe, the OS will already be set to 64-bit by default.